Blog Cabin

New junior hockey team approved for Missoula

(MISSOULA)- It hasn't even been 2-weeks since a break down in negotiations halted operations for the Missoula Maulers. But Missoula hockey supporters have moved quickly to get another junior team playing this fall.

The Missoula Area Youth Hockey Association announced over the weekend the MAYHA board of directors had approved plans for the Missoula Bruins to start play in September. The Bruins will play in the North American 3 Hockey League against other NA3HL teams in Montana and Wyoming. 

The Maulers had played in the larger Western States Hockey League. 

MAYHA leaders said they had received several offers from both the WSHL and NA3HL teams after the Maulers announced they wouldn't return next year. But they feel the Bruins, owned by Jason and Liz DiMatteo, are the best fit with Missoula's hockey community. 

MAYHA also expressed thanks to Mauler's owner Michael Burks for his "past contributions" to Glacier Ice Rink and Missoula hockey. 


Missoula arguing against old mill wastewater permit today 

(MISSOULA)- Missoula County attorneys are hoping to convince a District Court judge the state made a mistake when it re-issued a wastewater discharge permit for the old Smurfit Stone mill property, even though the paper mill is long gone.

When the mill sold to M2Green 5-years ago, Montana Department of Environmental Quality transferred, then renewed, the original permit with "minor modifications". The county says  that violated administrative rules.

The county has been worried about that permit still being active, especially with some of the lingering uncertainties over the future of the Frenchtown site.

Attorneys are arguing the case today in Helena. 


Missoula horse racing decision affirms planning for multi-events center

The Fairgrounds Advisory Committee had rejected horse racing in favor of other uses two years ago(MISSOULA)- Missoula County commissioners' decision to turn down yet another proposal to bring horse racing back to the Western Montana Fair last week affirms the county's plans for future fairgrounds development.

Commissioners voted down a new request from the Western Montana Turf Club to bring races back to the Western Montana Fair on a 2-to-1 vote Thursday.  

2-years ago, the Missoula County Fairgrounds Advisory Committee completed an exhaustive analysis of the fairgrounds' past use, and how it could be redeveloped in the future. That resulted in the recommendation the commissioners abandon the idea of including horse racing in those future plans. 

That led to a spirited debate over possible uses of the proposed multi-use center, with many of the same horse racing supporters making the same arguments we've heard in the most recent pitch. 

But ultimately the commissioners voted for the events center concept as the preferred path for development. 

Those event center plans are still in the process of development as we head into 2016. 


Missoula fire danger still listed as "very high"

(MISSOULA)- Missoula County's fire danger will remain "very high", leaving current fire restrictions in place because of the on-going threat of wildfire. 

The Missoula County Fire Protection Association had raised the fire danger to "extreme" levels last month, as Western Montana experienced one of its' driest months of June in decades. That was eased back to "very high" after rains and cooler weather returned after the Fourth of July. 

However, even with the respite, fire managers say conditions remain explosive. And with more warm, dry weather returning the past couple of days, grass and brush are already starting to dry out again. And they are especially worried about unattended campfires. 

The fire departments announced Monday Stage 1 fire restrictions will remain in place. That means campfires are only allowed in established fire pits in campgrounds. Smoking is also restricted. 


No Missoula council incumbents in first days of filing 

Councilman Adam Hertz says he won't run for a second term(MONDAY)- There are still several weeks to go. But so far it's only political newcomers who are filing to run for Missoula City Council this fall. 

Six different council positions are up for re-election this year.

The list of incumbents includes council veterans Jason Weiner and Ed Childers, and first-term council members Adam Hertz, Alex Taft, and Mike O'Herron. The 6th seat was vacated when Caitlen Copple stepped down earlier this year. 

However, none of the incumbents had filed to run again through the first couple of weeks of filing. 

John Debari was the first to file for the Ward 4 position vacated by Copple. Appointee Patrick Weasel Head hadn't filed to run by mid-week. 

Heidi West has filed for the Ward 1 council seat currently held by Weiner. 

Anita Green has applied for the Ward 2 council race. Adam Hertz is saying he doesn't plan to seek a second term. 

Gwen Jones has filed for the Ward 3 race. That's the position held by Alex Taft.

No one had filed for the Ward 5 race, for the seat held by Ed Childers. 

Filing closes on July 2nd.